LONDON, Aug 4: Britain´s Andy Murray set up an Olympic revenge mission against Roger Federer as the world number four booked his place in the final with a 7-5, 7-5 semi-final victory over Novak Djokovic on Friday.
Murray produced a masterful display to beat world number two Djokovic in two hours on Centre Court and the Scot is now guaranteed at least a silver medal as he heads into his first Olympic final on Sunday.
It promises to be an emotional occasion for the 25-year-old, who won the British public´s hearts after crying on court following his loss to Federer in the Wimbledon final less than a month ago.
Murray was tearful again following his win over Djokovic, but this time the waterworks were prompted by joy rather than sorrow as he celebrated the latest fine result of an impressive week at the All England Club.
For Murray, defeat in a Grand Slam final has often been the trigger for a calamitous run of results in the past, but the Scot has shown new-found maturity in coping with the heartbreak of losing his maiden Wimbledon final.
Rather than bemoaning his misfortune, Murray has been on a mission since Wimbledon and he arrived in the last four in peak form after dropping just one set in his four matches.
He had lost eight of his 13 meetings with Djokovic, including a five-set classic in the Australian Open semi-finals in January, but there was no sign of any inferiority complex as the British number one earned two break points early in the first set.
Even though Djokovic snuffed out the danger on that occasion with a pair of powerful winners, there was no sign of Murray losing faith.
He kept probing away and the pressure finally paid off as former Wimbledon champion Djokovic tried to take the set to a tie-break.
Britain´s Andy Murray returns the ball during his men´s singles semi-final tennis match against Serbian´s Novak Djokovic during the London 2012 Olympics at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon.Photo:AFP
On set point, Murray produced the shot of the match as he unfurled a scintillating forehand winner that triggered a huge roar and a burst of Union Jack flag waving from the vociferous British crowd.
It had taken 55 minutes to win that set, but there was no time for Murray to catch his breath at the start of the second as he battled to save a break point in the opening game.
When Djokovic earned another break point in the third game, Murray´s response was majestic. He produced a perfect drop-shot to level at deuce and then slammed down two unreturnable serves to complete the escape.
Djokovic was mounting a strong fightback and Murray had to save break points at 4-4 and 5-5.
But the Scot was playing with such composure that the result seemed somehow inevitable as Djokovic faltered on his own serve at 5-6.
Murray scented blood and on match point he produced a blistering return that prove too much for Djokovic to handle before the Scot let the tears flow again.